As Plato said to Aristotle, deeply embedded in the core of tragedy lies comedy. Or was it the other way around? It doesn’t matter because I just made that up. However, I think I am experiencing a seminal smile welling up at the very moment of calamity.
It seems that a happy nation of obese termites has made a meal of our kitchen cabinets. The banquet has apparently been going on for years. When this was brought to the attention of our landlord, she agreed, with a push from my daughter, to replace the lower cabinets....all the wood grain resurfaced by white paint.
At the same time, she spotted a family of spiders which I had provided with a habitat in the rear of a pantry shelf. Suddenly I become a hero among wood ants and Eensie-Weentsie Aranea. To my landlord, ever-salivating with the thought of eviction, this was strike one.
About two weeks ago while washing Peggy’s compression stockings in my sink I was called away to tend to her urgent need. My ever-diminishing mind failed to hold the two thoughts in my mind at once. Ten minutes later I had flooded the area around the sink. The small rivulet was easily soaked up by five towels. However, water was spotted dripping into the parking area of our apartment house. My inability to multitask was strike two.
We lived without access to our kitchen for eight days as they removed everything including the kitchen sink. I then dislocated my trigger finger, Peggy lost a tooth, the in-home caregiver failed to show up, I lost another 2.5 pounds, Peggy went into atrial fib and I started to dream about living in a cardboard box at the off-ramp.
Today the landlord informed me that the water damage extended eight feet under the floor board and a wall would have to be knocked down. Perhaps this was a good time for a tsunami to wash us away. I have always wondered what a ocean view would look like in Nebraska.
Our insurance company has already turned down the claim. It seems our renter's coverage only applies if the dog we don't have bites a neighbor. It may also apply if one of Peggy's stuffed animals turns feral.
I forgot why I am writing all this. I think I may have already left this mortal coil and I have landed in some Marx Bros. movie. Bring on Harpo. The only thing that really matters is Peggy’s heart which has, once again, bounced back to sinus rhythm. Her pulse has returned from a fluttering 108 to tranquil 72.
I’ve now been informed that the wall will not need to fall. Three fans and dehumidifiers may be enough but all the furniture (except bed) is to be moved into the living room. Our place is indistinguishable from a condemned building in Aleppo.
I’m still looking for the humor in all this. The best I can do is laugh or is that a grimace? I wore a white shirt today; when I walked into our new kitchen I vanished.